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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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The programme of United Nations has developed and promoted in the 21st century sustainable tourism through different objectives: the promotion of the competition in the European tourism industry, the promotion of a sustainable and responsible tourism, the creation of a strong image as real sustainable and quality tourist destination and the development of European policies for sustainable tourism (Kosti   & Jovanovi  -Ton  ev 2014). According to Dorin Paul B  c (2015), even if the concept of sustainable tourism was put in place by The World Tourism Organization with the United Nations and other international organizations, it did not reach all the stakeholders of the tourism industry in the world. In his opinion, to obtain a more sustainable way of travel the concept has to include many actors and a worldwide promotion for this type of tourism is necessary to create new values.

One solution could be that organizations and individuals work together to reach the same objective: a tourism which is more eco-friendly, green and sustainable. A good cooperation between all the stakeholders is necessary to be successful as a destination. In addition, private and public partnerships can be useful by creating some values of the destination that they have in common (Mio  i   et al. 2016).

Doran and Larsen (2016) have well understood through their study that travellers  values and behaviours are the keys of sustainable tourism: social norms   like social influence and pressure   and personal norms   like guilty or environmental awareness   could help the creation of new values, for example to be eco-friendly or to have responsible behaviours at tourist sites.

The result of their study shows that if promotional campaigns target the personal responsibility of each one, people will be more motivated and sensitive about their impacts during their travels.

In the same way, St  nciulescu and Diaconescu (2015) explain that the tourism industry has to use the natural patrimony, natural resources and the culture to attract people. Sustainable tourism can also be a solution to resolve or reduce society and environmental problems by the creation of a stability between what residents want and what travellers need. But for doing this, all the stakeholders at different levels (local, National and International players) have to think about it to define rules.

For Arva et al. (2015) local actors can help a lot by creating experimental parks or using natural areas in their region. The communication of local and national tourism organizations can be very helpful to change mentalities about tourism and to promote new green and sustainable destinations.

On the other hand, some reports consider that another strategy can help the development of sustainable tourism: a political environment.

First, a political environment will be necessary for the development of sustainable tourism. Mihali   et al. (2016) explain that through a case study of Bled in Slovenia: the population does not have enough power because of the underdeveloped political environment and cannot support the industry so its development is too weak.

Then, according to Leonidou et al. (2015), if values and principles for

ecology and sustainable development are changing often, law and politic can

be a long-term solution to positively affect the conducts of travellers in a

responsible way.

A good collaboration and a political environment are not sufficient for

a great development of sustainable tourism. The hard part is to attract people.    zyurt and Kantarci (2017) point out that the most important factor for the success of a destination is sustainability. A high sustainability will bring an increase of economic benefits, a better competitiveness and it is a real guarantee of quality.

To promote properly the sustainable quality, the image of a destination is very important. Indeed, because of the competitive market of tourism, there are a lot of destinations around the world. Manhas et al. (2016) think that the brand image of a destination must be about the values and features. They explain the importance to satisfy visitors in order to develop a good brand image of the area. In their opinion, with sustainable tourism, through the concept of  tourist experience  (which means memorable activities and/or authentic events) we can improve the destination   s authenticity and it helps to build a strong brand image. Plus, using authenticity for the communication can attract people to discover the destination and this way of travelling.

F  r  rol (2015) considers that sustainable tourism is an added value in terms of quality and brand image. In his opinion, the creation of  territorial brands  and territorial marketing can help the promotion of a region.

Labels can be sustainable competitive advantages too if they are reliable and if the organization that delivers it is safe. There are a lot of ecolabels in different levels (international, national and regional). But here is the problem: consumers do not really look at ecolabels. They only think about it when the price is equal for the same destination, but in a future where ecotourism will be more demanded, it would create positive benefits (Nault 2017). The European Eco-Label (a voluntary environmental certification delivered by the European Union policy) can also promote a country or an area. It is used to become more competitive in the market, prove a certain level of quality and differ from the competitors (Stanciu et al. 2015).

Hutchinson April (2016) said  sustainable tourism is the future, not a fad   . To his mind, travellers need to share something with the local population. It is a real industry in development and tourism organizations must pay attention to this market. Sustainable tourism has many positive impacts on the economy, for example by the number of visits in protected areas. If these areas have some rules and regulations for visitors, it will be well preserved and the price of the visit can help its conservation (Dinero 2017).

Moreover, the TUI research (Taylor 2017) underlines the fact that the demand for sustainable tourism in European countries is increasing. It shows that many travellers are ready to go in Europe for ecotourism like Germany, Belgium and France. The study of Morris (2017) supports the idea that sustainable tourism is the future: 42% of tourists say they are eco-responsible. But in another hand, about 65% do not stay in eco-friendly accommodation. In conclusion, we still have a long way to go in this process to have a global sustainable tourism.

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